Russian nationalists condemn Yugoslav opposition victory as fuelled by "marijuana, vodka and dollars"

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The Independent Online

As the Russian government maintained a cautious stance today on the crisis in Yugoslavia, the parliament refused to support the transfer of power in Belgrade and hardliners condemned it as a Western coup.

As the Russian government maintained a cautious stance today on the crisis in Yugoslavia, the parliament refused to support the transfer of power in Belgrade and hardliners condemned it as a Western coup.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has given mixed signals on the disputed Sept. 24 presidential vote, which opposition candidate Vojislav Kostunica claims to have won over Slobodan Milosevic.

But the State Duma, the lower chamber of Russia's parliament, rejected by 209 to 34 on Friday a motion to send a congratulatory telegram to Kostunica, the Interfax news agency reported.

Hard-line Russian politicians accused the Yugoslav opposition of accepting Western money and relying on unruly crowds for support. Duma speaker Gennady Seleznyov called Kostunica's assumption of power "a coup."

Communist Party chief Gennady Zyuganov was quoted by Interfax as saying: "This is not a democracy, it smells of marijuana, vodka and dollars." Russian nationalists see Milosevic as a key ally against the West.

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